In recent days my hair had crossed the line from being half-way manageable, to slightly deranged. I tend to make the judgement as I pass the mirror in the hallway, en-route to the shower on a morning. There’s this bizarre transmogrification that happens - where a previously low maintainance head of hairbecomes an unruly toilet brush.
Due to the line crossing antics of unreliable tufts of increasingly grey hair atop my head, I made myself 15 minutes late for work this morning - to get the majority of it massacred by the prettiest lady I could find (or, well, anybody that could cut hair really, but it doesn’t sound as good).
The reason for the “pretty lady” comment is that there are a number of places that cut gentlemen’s hair in town. Some are staffed by men and women, some are staffed solely by women. One is staffed by a sinister looking Sweeney Todd character with a barbers pole outside - I’ve never seen anybody leave his shop either (but then I’ve never seen anybody enter). I chose the one staffed by women, because it was closer, and the likelihood of not ending up in a pie was pretty good.
I arrived outside on my mountain bike at exactly 9am, and was surprised to see the shop already open, and a small boy having his hair cut while his Mum chatted with the hairdresser. A tall dark haired woman looked up at me, and beckoned me immediately to a seat.
“What are we doing today?”
“Oh, I don’t know… clippered around the sides and back, and short and scruffy on top - low maintainance haircut”
I smiled, but she didn’t smile back. She was busy fiddling with the clippers.
“Two, I think”
And those were the last words we spoke. She didn’t seem like the kind of person that said much to anybody, so I didn’t attempt to start the inevitable conversation about holidays, or what I might be doing today, or the weather.
Just as she was finishing off, and rubbing wax through my hair an elderly gentleman that thought quite a lot of himself breezed in, and plonked himself down in the chair next to me, with another girl mysteriously materialising from the back of the shop to listen to his instructions.
“General trim all around, but leave the front alone - otherwise I won’t be able to do a thing with it.”
He sounded like he had too many teeth in his mouth. I glanced sideways at him. He looked like he had smoked and drunk his way through his retirement pretty successfully. He wore a tweed suit jacket, and trousers that didn’t quite match. He had a sun tan, and a craggy face. His hair didn’t look like it needed cutting.
Moments later I found myself standing at the counter, paying the tall dark lady for my haircut, and saying goodbye to everybody as I strapped the mountain bike helmet back on, and wandered back outside to find the bike.
The tall dark lady unexpectedly looked up from her broom with the biggest smile, andquietly bade me farewell.